How to Fix Attendance: a Research View of What Works

Source: Tes Magazine | Repost Fight for Life Foundation 11/14/2023 –

With schools around the world grappling with the problem of persistent absence, attendance expert Carolyn Gentle-Genitty tells Tes how we can help pupils back into school.

When it comes to addressing what the children’s commissioner for England, Dame Rachel de Souza, has called “the biggest problem facing education” – school attendance – Carolyn Gentle-Genitty has plenty of ideas.

Across a career spanning more than 25 years in higher education, she has garnered a reputation as a leading light in research into antisocial behaviour in young people, including social bonding and persistent absence, and she has worked with government agencies in the US on boosting engagement and preventing persistent absence in education.

She has also worked with schools to develop and implement a number of interventions to help reduce absenteeism and dropout rates.

She is a professor at the Indiana University School of Social Work, vice president and co-founder of the International Network of School Attendance (INSA), which is based in Australia, and former president of the International Association of Truancy and Dropout Prevention in the US.

Her expertise has perhaps never been more needed. The UK is facing what has been called an “attendance crisis”: Department for Education data released in May 2023 showed that almost a quarter of pupils had been persistently absent during the 2022 autumn term. And despite recent efforts by the government to tackle the problem, absence rates remain high.

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